I have a confession to tell.
I am a social addict and I admit, I have FOMO or the fear of missing out.
Does this happen to you? Because it is happening to many of the young people I know. And it is causing anxiety in them and in me.
It’s hard not feel anxious when we have access to people’s lives 24/7. Technology has increased our connection to people, but it has also increased the pressure for us to keep up with the Joneses globally.
We fear missing out if we don’t stay connected. But staying connected leads to anxiety because of the pressure to keep up with what others are doing.
Everyday we are inundated with perfect pictures and photoshop lives at every turn. Scrolling through my social feed, I sometimes feel less than and other times, not enough.
The more we scroll, the more pressure we add to our life. We begin to believe the lies that we should aspire for more than we have time and energy to pursue. We think happiness means living large and doing whatever feels right in the moment regardless of consequences. We fear missing out on the good life if we don’t pursue what everyone is chasing after.
Subconsciously, we strive to be like the people we secretly envy. We wish for their success, happiness, and fame. But it doesn’t work no matter how hard we strive because those lives aren’t lived in our real world. Yet, their polished presentation breeds fear in us. We fear we’re missing out on what looks so good and perfect.
The truth is this.
People’s on-screen lives may appear attractive, but perhaps they are pumped up to entice the human eye to jealousy and to boost one’s self-esteem (in an unhealthy and unnecessary way). Truth is, only God sees the real stuff underneath all the fluff, and we shouldn’t let anyone’s on-screen lifestyle distract us from our journey to becoming God’s real girls.
You may not realize it, but the fear of missing out on good things and the perfect life is a breeding ground for anxiety. But you can learn how to tackle it with God’s help.
Here are some things I’m doing that’s working.
I grab a hold of my thoughts from wandering to what my social friends are up to at any given moment so I can be present in my real life with real people. How? Glad you asked 🤗.
I replace them with right thoughts by reading from the Bible, God’s Word. The book of Psalms is a great place to park your mind throughout the day because your thoughts will wander more than once. Better yet, if you memorize some verses, you can pray them out loud or in your mind to turn your thoughts towards God; He will give you right thoughts so you won’t be anxious about what you may be missing out on.
Setting up boundaries such as when and how often I check my feed helps me to be fully focus on my responsibilities because I know God wants me to do everything with all my best effort. He doesn’t want me to do a little of everything by halves or thirds or quarters. For things are not done well or right, unless they are done with my whole heart. Proverbs 25:28 says a person without self-control is like a city without walls. If you aren’t disciplined in setting up boundaries to guard your mind and heart against temptation, you will fall to FOMO and anxiety.
FOMO is a real problem, but it doesn’t have to rule your life if you belong to God. He has your life all figured out even before you were born. You don’t have to worry about missing out on what has been set aside just for you 😘. God says so in His Word. Check it out in Psalm 139. Amazing right?
Young ones, God is a good Father. The very best! James 1:17 tells us every good and perfect gift comes from Him. So don’t let fear and anxiety threaten you. God will not let you miss out on anything good! When you let Him have all of you, His special favor follows you wherever you go. It’s lik a shield protecting you from missing out on his goodness.
There is no fear in perfect love (1 John 4:18). And God is love (1 John 4:8). So if God is your Father, you need not fear because His perfect love for you casts out all fear.
You see my young friends, God knew we would have anxiety about many things. He anticipated we would be afraid of missing out on things. So he gave us instructions in the Bible to navigate technology, social media, and everything else in life.
When we listen to Him and follow his instructions, He gives us a peace which is unexplainable so we can stay calm.
Here’s the key takeaway you came for today 😘.
Stay close to God and do what he says, even if it is radically different than what eveyone else (yes, even your closest friends and favorite icon) is doing. You can be sure of this: When you obey God, you have order and peace. But disobedience leads to disorder and anxiety. Ask me how I know 😉.
I hope you’ve been encouraged with these words that God has given for you and me. Let us pray together for God’s help as we do life together.
God, give us wisdom to live well. Free us from the fear of missing out on things that are not from you because they’re not good for us anyway. We trust in your goodness and love for us. Jesus, let your peace reign in our hearts so we can extinguish the arrows of anxiety when it comes at us. Thank you for the promise of victory over FOMO and anxiety when we obey your instructions. We ask for these things in your precious name Jesus. Amen!